Jiangsu / My Jiangsu Story

"My Jiangsu story" - Sharon S.Y. Too Yok

( Updated: 2015-11-24 15:14

Sharon S.Y. Too Yok (杜喜云), a Mauritius girl studying in Changzhou University, shares her story of Jiangsu with us.

I have often heard my elders say: "No matter how tall a tree grows, leaves will always fall back to the roots." For me, who grew up in Mauritius, I never quite understood the homesickness Grandfather felt for China. Through a stroke of luck in 2011, I had the opportunity to come to Changzhou University to study, and hence start my road to root-seeking.

I spent four years to learn the mothertongue of my ancestors, from the most basic Chinese characters to technical vocabulary related to chemical engineering. I learned how to cook Southern Yangtse dishes that are "to die for". I love to "hang out" with my Chinese friends, and play mahjong and Chinese poker games which I think are “awesome”. But learning the newest Chinese catchwords is not yet my favourite thing.

Actually, I love travelling best. I love to wander about and observe, to listen and learn. It's not just appreciating the charm of Changzhou's Qingguo Lane, or admiring the skilful artisans of Changzhou's Comb Lane, it's more about experiencing the real life of common people in the countryside of Changzhou. During my volunteering time at Changzhou Museum, I also became curious about Changzhou's intangible cultural heritage, and I even learned how to make delicate bamboo carvings. I now already consider Changzhou as my home. As I think about graduation next year, I begin to understand what my Grandfather meant by nostalgia.

Compared to the skycrapers of Changzhou, I prefer Suzhou's little bridges and canals. Peeling soya beans with a group of old grandmas at my Chinese friend's home in Suzhou might seem ordinary.

Indeed I have had ordinary and yet extraordinary experiences in Jiangsu. My Chinese dream is simple and yet ordinary, it is to persevere in learning how to become a real Chinese person, a Jiangsu person! It is about carrying forward the broad and rich Chinese culture! It is about exploring the land of my ancestors and continuing to write my Jiangsu story!

Sharon S.Y. Too Yok (杜喜云)

Facebook @Jiangsu,China

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